We are all fine here. It is now 3 o’clock. Aravind has gone to his college. His BA classes and German certificate classes will start on August 13th. Amma is absorbed in a book. It is called ‘The other Face’ and is a translation from Kannada. It is about the Havyaka community.
Two weeks we attended the 75th birthday of our neighbour. Her children have been planning the celebrations for almost a year. Their relatives from different parts of the world attended. My neighbour and friend has been living in this house from early seventies. She was married at the age of 16, her husband worked in the Syndicate Bank. She has two sons and a daughter. Unfortunately, her husband passed away when she was only 32. She got a job in the bank and raised the children all by herself. They are all doing well. She did not know that all her relatives were going to come. It was a happy surprise for her. These days we are seeing sun and rain alternately. So we dare not dry our clothes outside.
To continue with our trip,
On the 16th morning after seeing some of the places of interest away from Kausani we reached Rudradhari, from where we would have to walk to the cave temple and falls. We started walking at 1 o’clock. When we started we had no idea that we would be walking across valleys and up and down hills. The driver had told us that it was an easy path. It was an experience which we will always remember because of what follows.
There was no well paved footpath. We walked across big rocks, pebbles and crossed small mountain streams. There was not much water and at some places we had to step into the water and slowly make our way across. The rocks in the water were very slippery.
In some places we were surrounded by hills on all sides. Nature is beautiful, and here we felt one with her. There was a huge boulder by the hill side. Water was oozing from millions of pores on its surface and slowly trickling down. We also got to touch a large rock from which water was oozing out. It was a good experience. We walked along the strenuous path. We met a few people on their way back and they encouraged us to walk on. One of them said it was not far to the temple and another said it was very far. But he also said the small pool at the base of the waterfall was very refreshing.
There was some spiritual strength in the water according to him. We walked on, it was as if we were in a different universe. On the way we met four students who came along with us and assisted us at the difficult spots. They were experienced hikers. We reached the temple at about 2 o’clock. We removed our footwear and gladly soaked our feet in the water. It was indeed refreshing. It was not a large waterfall. At this time of the year there was not much water flowing. But the whole place had a mystical charm.
There were lots of people, young and old. We stepped into the cave. According to legend, Sage Kaushik performed penance here, and the Shivalinga emerged from the depths of mother Earth. This was told to us by the Panditji. We wanted to perform a puja. The Panditji asked my husband to get water from the natural source outside. We did abhisheka and aarati. It felt good.
We started our trek back to the car at 2.15. Along the way we saw many trees with incisions in their trunks. This was for extracting gum , the sap of the tree. It smelt very good. We returned to the starting point at about 3.15. It was a wonderful experience. There was small canteen and our driver, Devender had asked the proprietor to keep food for us. He too had lunch with us. We had a typical Kumaoni food of rice, kadi, aloo sabji and bhat ki daal. Bhat is black coloured dal used by people here. It was good. We returned to our room and rested. That night we had food in the hotel. It was good. We walked on the terrace enjoying the quiet of the mountains, then retired for the day. Early next day we were to leave for Naintal.